(121-04-12) Patience
Summary: Amadys accepts an invitation to dinner with Maera, and just possibly more than that.
Date: (12/04/2014)
Related: Only the Brave Deserve the Bear, A Courteous Call

The invitation will undoubtably come as a surprise to Amadys. After all, the Baratheon acolyte had seen little of the she-Bear since her betrothal to Griffyth Wylde. Better still, it is to dinner. Presumably alone. And so when the acolyte arrives he is sufficiently supped and wined. Lady Mormont will fill his cup for him herself. Gone is her usual braids and wool, it is replaced by a gown of silk green that leaves her broad, strong shoulders exposed, and reveals a blush of the tops of her bosom, and her hair is left down and brushed until it glows.

"I hope everything was to your liking, lord Amadys?" She asks after the meal is finished.

Aye, so far the fare and the entertainment has proved as fine as the chatter has been inconsequential. Amadys - who, thanks to the somewhat grudging but more than sufficient allowance still sent him by his brother, is far more used than most scholars of the Citadel to regular, hearty, flavoursome board - settles to meat and vintage with a will, keeping up a strain of apparently throwaway, in fact carefully neutral, gossip. Compliments to the new Valyrian steel archmaester, saucy observations upon reach-ladies such as Valerity Redwyne and the newly arrived Sera Florent, a passing account of a wager involving a band of dissolute youths wooing the bashful and unfortunate looking Elinor Costayne…but more obvious and telling topics Amadys has skirted thus far, skirted hard.

"More than liking, good my lady," he declares now, "indeed I am as contented and bleary as the best-fed hog that ever graced a table. It has been too long since I lingered at this table of yours. Can't think why!" His dark, dark blue eyes sparkle with mischief.

"Green serves you fair, my lady. There may be leagues, in every way, between Tyrell and Mormont, but you share that at least. For my part, I feel a man of spirit cannot but prefer the grave, sober dark green of your firs to the easy, lush verdance that drapes over everything in this sluggard land of the Reach…"

"I was afraid of having you over." Maera confesses with a playful little smile, and a slight brush of her fingers over her exposed collarbone. "I though ah…what if he kisses me again, and I melt into some pathetic puddle, and Wylde finds out?" She smirks, and picks up her goblet to take a healthy swallow before putting it down. "But, it seems Wylde and I will not be wedding after all. His brother has met an unseemly end, and he is now heir to Rain House. This, of course, means that our arrangement no longer works as he'll need a wife to give him little Wyldes instead of being sire to Mormonts."

The Baratheon acolyte leans back in a little in his comfortable seat. His smile widens, but his eyes are careful as well as bright, his mind engaged in something approximating to thought. He has begun gently to entertain doubts about Maera's feminine, dreamily alluring, demure side…but he is far too flattered to entertain them very strongly. "Such frankness, my lady. Worthy of the truth and honesty of Bear Isle and the North…worthy, I hope, too, of the bluff confidences of my own House. I had not heard of this tragedy to my brother's bannerman. As I distinctly remember advising you, the Wyldes are decent sorts, on the whole. But perchance you regret that advice. Perchance…we both do."

He reaches for another hearty gulp of gold wine. Judging by his next topic, he may have needed it. "Certain scandalmongers suggest other reasons for the decay of your accord with my old childhood acquaintance Ser Griff. The tales of the rosy invert scarcely surprise me, most of the time. Though I don't recall Griff partaking in that sort of squiring, back in the day…but mayhaps I was too innocent to notice."

He leans idly a good deal closer; musk clings to his blue and gold garb, also strongwine.

Maera straightens suddenly. She sweeps her eyes over Amadys before she leans back in her chair. "Might we be honest with each other, Lord Amadys?"

"My lady, I am but a humble acolyte…it is your privilege to be as honest with me as you choose," Amadys Baratheon teases…before laying down his cup, and running his newly freed hand into the midst of Lady Mormont's long, loose hair. "For my part, I intend to speak as free heartedly as ever I have felt, Maera, bright, cold blade of fair and distant shores…"

Maera lets Amadys touch her hair, but she only allows him a brief touch before she puts her hand over his, and gently guides it away. "Griffyth was a slut. He enjoyed making love to any available hole. I didn't care, to be honest. I knew about his proclivities, but I also knew he'd be useful to me, and a good companion. You see, I need a consort who can be useful. Romance and looks fade. I need something advantageous."

"Something," Amadys repeats gamely, throwing back his lank head in a short laugh. "Would you have my counsel upon this most grave and delicate matter?" He makes the most of his possession of the lady's hand, caressing it; the touch is warm, save for the cold kiss of the copper link, and the slightly spiky encumbrance of the stag signet.

Maera makes a motion of the hand to prompt him to continue.

"Your last choice, for all its…practicality…had disadvantages of which we both know full fain. A groom far from your home, but lightly tied to your side, and of a House which, if worthy and valourous enough, carries small weight? An heiress great, at least, in heart and in spirit and talent, could hunt greater game." Prickle, prickle, goes that stag signet. "Lord Baratheon has small regard for his little brother, aye, but it would be hard for him to stand idly by while a good-sister was disparaged. And he may grow fonder of me when I prove to his satisfaction I am unlikely to lure his wife from him. Since we are being so truthful, you are probably aware that that is why I was sent here…?"

"I need the South's bounty opened to me." Maera says to Amadys, "I need food during the long winter to keep my people from starving and freezing to death. I just finished paying off a debt to the Iron Bank that my grandfather applied for during a particularly harsh winter before I was born. I do not want to be indebted again." She shrugs, "Bear Island is so far from Storm's Keep it might as well be on the moon. Undoubtably, you being far away, and wed to a woman with power of her own would put him at ease."

"But I am not so far from Storm's End, wherever I am, as it stands. Until my brother Borros and his lovely lady accumulate a son to join their daughters, some bannermen will not forget me…even if I have tried to forget them. On the other hand, unlike your last faithful swain, I see little hindrance in that. If it comes to it, we could rule the ends of the earth, the moon and the sun, together. It would," Amadys's expression is open, playful, scornful of destiny, "be a fine joke, I think. Now the hunger of your people seems to have provoked in me a thirst wine scarce scratches, let alone slakes." And taking her other hand, he swoops in for another daring kiss.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Amadys=charm Vs Maera=mind
< Amadys: Good Success Maera: Success
< Net Result: Amadys wins - Marginal Victory

"The hunger of my people…" Maera asks with a skeptical lofting of her brow. Then she is being kissed. Her hand lifts in an attempt to push Amadys away that soon turns into a clutching of his robe. Despite any faults the Stag may have he certainly kisses by the book.

"Dear my lady, brightest of blades," Amadys whispers during a brief interval, "my heart troubles me with fear. What if your ferocious sister yet prowls at large…? Mayhaps we should repair where'er even her bold spirit may be affrighted off by the urges of decorum…?" He holds Maera in an all-encompassing, musky embrace now, and his eyes are bright with confidence. Almost as if someone had tipped him off he was definitely safe from Ulyka this time, after all!

Maera's eyes slide open slowly at Amadys words, and she stares at him a moment dully before laughter bubbles up from her. "Oh, you're good." She leans away from the Baratheon, and takes a swallow of her own wine, "But not good enough to get into my chamber without something a bit more formal than an informal conversation over wine."

Amadys pauses too, uncoils himself a little from that fierce entanglement. His expression is more gamesome and speculative than ever; he seems, wordlessly, to be quietly doubtful of the notion that no one ever has infiltrated the lady's boudoir without a parchment of betrothal sealed and witnessed, or the gift…of a ring.

And yet, with an airy laugh, he slips such a thing from his hand - not the stag signet, but the copper link of History - and he offers it, and as he does so, bends the knee.

Maera takes the copper link, and turns it in her hands. She lets out a quiet chuckle before she leans forward, "How many times were you in the bedchamber of your good sister?"

The Baratheon looks truly blindsided by that question. A strange expression creeps over his face, hitherto so joyous and complacent…sorrow, regret, and oddest, of all, embarrassment. "In truth, never, my lady. And yet she was fair, wise and witty, accomplished, a true daughter of the Marches. She would never have betrayed her husband, and my brother was a great fool to think any different, though it pleased me to irk him by letting him do so!"

"I had heard you were her lover. I'm pleasantly surprised to hear it wasn't so. It means things can be salvaged still with your brother." Maera turns the link between her fingers as she speaks, "You'll have to forgive me. I am not a romantic at heart, and being lady of my own demesne has made me think in blunt terms."

"It may be that I have enough sugar and cream to remedy any lack of yours," Amadys persists cheerfully. "Come, my lady. The long winter has passed. It's time to enjoy the bounty of the summery south…not least in your own heart." He rises with an almost shy smile, and links his arm through hers…not the sort of chain, perhaps, the Archmaesters have in mind.

Maera tilts her head at the linking of arms, and a curtain of her thick dark brown hair falls over her face, "Oh." She asks playfully, "Did you want to go for a stroll in the gardens or down the wynd?"

"The Ragpicker's Wynd, back to that wine-sink where we got on so well," Amadys suggests with a rueful grin. "My lady, another bannerhouse of ours, rowdy fellows but entertaining, are the Toynes. Their words are 'Fly High, Fly Far'. I would soar with you thither. Through the leafy canopies and above the mountain peaks, to lie at last in blissful languor amid drifts of cloud. Where is your bedchamber, Lady Maera Mormont of Bear Island? I fancy it possesses such a view." When it comes to it, the stag has a little stubborness stored away…somewhere….

"I share it with my sister, Lady Ulyka. Perhaps you recall her." Maera smiles easily, "Kiss me and go home. Perhaps I shall replace her with you when the ink is dried on the document. Alas, I must guard myself. Men are fickle."

"Then I must have my link back," Amadys replies in mock-mournful tones. "Perchance the Citadel's massive edifice possesses a less stony heart than yours. Maester Thane's reproaches may have more true affection in them than your entertainments. Who," he smiles faintly, "is to say? Lady Wisdom is a beautiful rival, my lady. Have a care…"

"You've no patience, my Lord." Maera says with a sly little smile as she holds out the link like she may give it back before she pulls it back, and slips it on her thumb. Her eyes lock with his, and she raises the link to her mouth to rub it against her bottom lip, "Funny. I kiss it, and it is still cold. I am not denying you. I am promoting the virtues of patience."

"It's History. It was forged in overheated blood, and it's made of furled parchment and cold ashes," Amadys points out with surprising sobriety, though the smile doesn't quite leave his face. He's sincere in whatever strange attachment he feels to that discipline, at least. Then he nods wordlessly, releases Lady Mormont, and kisses her chastely on both cheeks. "Good night, my lady. My body and mind have much bounty of yours to feed upon. The link, for the present, if you please. Its absence would be inconvenient to account for just now!"

Maera takes the link from her thumb, and slides it back on his finger. "Goodnight, my Lord. I look forward to our next meeting." The passiveness in her voice makes such assortment uncertain at best, however. "Do contact your brother."

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